Traditional sound of family success

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A brother and sister from Birgham have each been shortlisted in this year’s MG Alba Scots Traditional Music Awards.

As children, Lori and Innes Watson were members of the Small Hall Band, and now they are highly respected professional musicians in the traditional music world.

Lori is one of four shortlisted in the Scots singer of the year category of the Trad Awards, and Innes’s band, Treacherous Orchestra, lines up alongside four others in the live act of the year category.

And the Borders region is also represented in the awards by the Rolling Hills Folk Club, Darnick, which has been shortlisted in the club of the year section and the Merlin Music Academy, Melrose, nominated in the community project of the year section.

A highly respected fiddle player and folk singer who performs traditional and contemporary folk music, Lori is the first doctor of artistic research in Scottish music and an authority on contemporary traditional music practice in Scotland.

She graduated with a BA honours in Scottish music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2003 and completed her PhD in artistic research and ethnomusicology through the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Andrews University in 2013.

Now a lecturer, examiner and supervisor of Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire, Scotland, Lori also performs at home and abroad and is a former BBC Scotland young traditional musician finalist.

Lori is currently working on her latest album Yarrow, inspired by the Scottish Borders and Yarrow valley.

“I’m creating a work of original and traditional music and song exploring human experience and the connections we make with the natural world around us,” she said.

Innes Watson gained a place in the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton to do his high school sixth year. From there, he moved on to study for a BA in Scottish music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Innes, a guitarist and fiddle player, started his teaching career at Glasgow Fiddle Workshop, an organisation which allows children and adults to attend night classes with some of Glasgow’s best trad and folk musicians. He also taught for the RSAMD junior academy, the Youth Works programme and numerous Fèisean.

The MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards instrumentalist of the year in 2011, Innes has appeared countless times at Celtic Connections in Glasgow and numerous music festivals as well as touring Sweden, Norway, northern Spain, Berlin, Austria and Cape Breton.

This time around, Innes is up for an MG Alba award with Treacherous Orchestra, an act composed of seasoned musicians who are already treading notable paths and reaching international recognition with other bands as performers, arrangers and composers.

Voting for the 2016 MG ALBA Awards ends on Friday, November 18.